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Too Close To Call; Absentee Ballots To Decide Election

Originally Posted: November 07, 2007

Andrea Aurichio

Kabot awaits results surrounded by supporters on election night. Photos by Andrea Aurichio

Hampton Bays - The mood was upbeat and the music was blaring at the Villa Toscano in Hamptons Bays where the Republican Party faithful gathered to watch the returns on election night. Despite the close race, Linda Kabot, possibly the next Supervisor of Southampton Town, pending a final count of absentee ballots next week, took the microphone in an optimistic mood predicting a solid Republican win within the next seven days.

GOP volunteers keep a watchful eye on election results.

"It will be Kabot, Graboski and Russo," said Councilwoman Kabot with the utmost confidence in the ticket.

"We'll have to wait until next week to call it," said Kabot, clearly jubilant at the election results, which proved her a strong contender in her race against Incumbent Republican Supervisor Patrick "Skip" Heaney, who she unexpectedly trounced in an upset primary to secure the Party's nomination. Kabot could go home and get a good night's sleep knowing she was the leader by a small margin in a tight three-way race between Democratic candidate Jim Henry who emerged as a strong vote getter and Heaney who trailed behind the Democratic challenger.

Kabot took the lead with a total of 4,134 votes that accounted for a 32.55 percent share of votes cast, while Democratic challenger Jim Henry ran a close second with 32 percent of the votes cast. Henry got 4,064 votes. Incumbent Patrick "Skip" Heaney trailed with 3,693 votes gathering only 29.08 percent.

Town Justice Edward Burke, Town Board Candidate Dan Russo and GOP
Chairman Marcus Stinchi comment on the returns.

Throughout the campaign political pundits commented on the fractured running field indicating the likelihood of a close race on a wide open playing field.

"It's an interesting race, "commented Town Board candidate Dan Russo, "with four candidates running, no one has to get that many votes to win."

The predictions played out as party faithful watched the giant screen as votes started to come in transmitted over the internet from the Board of Elections website. The mood was festive as the mellow crowd drew around the screen riveted to the "scoreboard" cheering each time new districts weighed in with their votes and the final tally column increased for their favorite Republican Party candidates.

The Town Trustees were all re-elected along with Town Justice Edward Burke who scored a decisive win over his Democratic opponent Andrea Schiavoni. Burke got 6,641 votes while Schiavoni got 5,309 votes giving Burke an 11 percent margin of victory or a final result of 55.57 percent to Schiavoni's 44.43 percent.

Incumbents Nancy Graboski and Linda Kabot speaking to the crowd.

Theresa Kiernan, candidate for Receiver of Taxes was a big winner scoring a decisive victory over her Democratic opponent Bruce King.

Kiernan garnered 6,519 or 58.46 percent of the votes cast as compared to her opponent who pulled only 4,633 votes or 41.54 percent of the electorate. Kiernam thanked her mother, long-time political activist, Ann LaWall, for all her help. She also thanked her brother for turning out to support her and told her many local supporters she would never forget all their help and encouragement.

Likewise Attorney Dan Russo, a candidate for Town Board who trailed behind Democratic candidate Anna Throne-Holst thanked his mother for running his law office while he was out campaigning and also thanked the people who helped him saying "I'd go down the river with you any time."

Councilwoman Nancy Graboski, who stood side by side with Kabot for most of the night as they watched the results come in, thanked her husband and her children. "They are my campaign staff," Graboski said. "They help me put the ads in the papers, they stuffed the envelopes and they supported my candidacy." Graboski also extended her special thanks to her husband. The councilwoman received 23.48 percent of the votes for a Town Board seat, leading by a safe margin of 182 ballots.

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